LENN'S COLD HEARTED ADVICE TO FOLKS CONSIDERING ENTERING THE REAL ESTATE BUSINESS or HIRING A NEW LICENSEE.

By
Real Estate Agent with Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate 303829;0225082372

LENN'S COLD HEARTED ADVICE TO FOLKS CONSIDERING ENTERING THE REAL ESTATE BUSINESS or HIRING A NEW LICENSEE.

"I WANT TO HELP PEOPLE".

If that is the motivation for going to real estate school, getting a license and then practicing real estate brokerage, please don't even think about it because, sooner or later, when something goes wrong with a transaction or buyer or seller, the first words will be,

"BUT I JUST WANTED TO HELP".

Which, of course, doesn't help at all.

We see many ActiveRain posts about why a person would want to enter the real estate business.  Many are well founded and describe the risks and rewards of being a real estate practitioner.  However, if the list includes that often heard phrase, "I want to help people", think again. 

There are many risks that should be understood by new licensees and especially by people considering becomming a licensee, not the least is the financial investment required to simply be able to work with a real estate company.  Of course, the rewards are, if one is successful, monetary.  Those of us who love the business and are successful will suceed in helping a buyer or seller client achieve their goal, but it will not be because we want to help people.  It will have been becasue we use our training and experience to know HOW to help a consumer achieve their goal. 

I disagree with the want to help people thing because it's an emotional do-gooder policy that should have no place in business.

Real estate transactions are complicated and real estate brokerage is a complicated business.  Good client representation means giving objective, fact based advise based on best practices. 

Until the real estate license law includes a section on "helping people", I wouldn't want to hear that motivation from a new licensee seeking to hang their license with me. 

Helping people just happens.  However, if you're doing your job as a fiduciary, there are two parties to a transaction and I intend to help only one of them.

WHICH WILL "HELP" THE CONSUMER MORE, REALISM OR ALTRUISM? 

Courtesy, Lenn Harley, Broker, Homefinders.com, 800-711-7988.

                                     REAL ESTATE AGENTS

             "As your agent, I'll explain what the contract means and how to proceed through the transaction."

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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Donald Bradbury 05/30/2010 08:31 AM
  2. Jonathan Chi 05/31/2010 08:10 PM
  3. Bill Buettner 06/01/2010 08:48 AM
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Real Estate Sales and Marketing
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Rainmaker
187,070
Robby Leviton
Keller Williams Realty - Kirkland, WA
Knowles Team

So, you want to help, and you love houses, those are great reasons to get in the business. You just have to add the same ingredients for anything else you plan to succeed at: hard work, seek out the but to learn from and create a plan

Jun 01, 2010 09:52 AM #138
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

THANKS FOR ALL THE COMMENTS FOLKS.  I'm trying to keep up but new blog posts call me in another direction. 

Thanks everyone.  I read all comments.

 

Jun 01, 2010 10:14 AM #139
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland
Rainer
9,810
Cathy Sentgeorge
Keller Williams - The Sentgeorge Group - Cary, NC
We've been around YOUR block!

This is my favorite line of your post, "I disagree with the want to help people thing because it's an emotional do-gooder policy that should have no place in business." AMEN SISTER!

Jun 01, 2010 11:52 AM #141
Rainmaker
273,763
Christopher Pataki
RE/MAX Associates - Hockessin, DE
Hockessin Delaware Real Estate

I have on several occasions been bitten by my philosophy of "doing the right thing to help someone".  When I was new in the business and it was more prevolent in my activity failed attempts to help someone was hard to swallow.  I was an emotional mess.  Now that I have more production, I will try to help someone and take my chances of the failures that may occur.  Luckily the busier I get, the less often my emotions get tested.....................chris

Jun 01, 2010 12:00 PM #142
Rainer
63,028
Nicole Donaghy
ERA Wilder Realty, Lexington SC - Lexington, SC

As cold as it sounds, this is awesome advice.  I hope many prospective licensees take the time to read it.

Jun 01, 2010 01:09 PM #143
Rainmaker
38,455
Karla Casey
Karla Casey (BIC), List Sotheby's International Realty, Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
I tried out a new licensee as an assistant. After the first day of taking her to some of my listings, showings and meetings with clients she made the comment that the real estate business is much more difficult then she thought it would be. When I asked her what she meant, she said that she thought it would be more like what she saw on HGTV. She didn't last long. Aloha Karla Casey, Casey & Associates Hawaii
Jun 01, 2010 01:34 PM #144
Rainmaker
1,496,028
Ron & Alexandra Seigel
ra@napaconsultants.com - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Marketing

As always, great advice.  Thanks

Jun 01, 2010 03:00 PM #145
Rainmaker
265,674
Kristen Wheatley
The Maine Real Estate Network - Auburn, ME
Lewiston/Auburn Maine Real Estate Agent

I don't think it sounds cold at all - just realistic.  That's the way it is, live with it or leave it.  I also love when people say they are going into real estate so they can have MORE time with their family!  MORE time?  You can do that if you want to close maybe 6 deals a year.

Jun 01, 2010 03:31 PM #146
Rainmaker
419,606
The Scott Loper Team Lansdale & Harleysville PA Homes
Keller Williams Real Estate - Montgomeryville - Lansdale, PA

Hi Lenn,

Good points in your post.  So many people get into real estate for all the wrong reasons and think it will be easy money with "flexible" working arrangements.  As stated in a featured post from a few weeks ago, there are no sympathy offers in real estate.

~Lisa

Jun 01, 2010 03:56 PM #147
Rainer
96,702
Larry and Marilyn Mennetti
FIVE STAR REAL ESTATE - East Grand Rapids, MI

I used to manage a 150 person office. When I would hear the following statements from prospective new hires......I have always liked houses, I heve always liked people, I always wanted to help people or....the best one....i lost my job and I need another so I can pay my bills.

I just said, you like houses...become a builder.

You like or want to help people, become a social worker.

You need money quick....it will costyou this much to get licensed, and take this long to get paid on average.

My answer I looked for was, I want to make money, be my own boss and be able to control my work schedule ( to a point).

Larry Mennetti, FIVE STAR REAL ESTATE, Grand Rapids, Michigan  

 

Jun 01, 2010 03:57 PM #148
Rainmaker
189,884
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) www.Progressive-Realty.info - Boise, ID
Owner,Broker

I came to the realization years ago, that in fact I was a closet Sadist, not just a Realtor.  I have put my clients through emotional hell  (real estate transaction), only to have them get their keys at the successful closing and have them tell me "Thank You"!

Jun 01, 2010 04:10 PM #149
Rainmaker
542,279
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

You can "help people" by donating money or volunteering at the local soup kitchen. This is a business, and like you said, our training, expertise and experience will help people because of what we do, not because our goal is to help them.

Jun 01, 2010 04:40 PM #150
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791,504
Charlie Ragonesi
AllMountainRealty.com - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

Lenn at the end of your p[ost I think you touched on an area of importance. I am working with a couple and I am doing it because that is my business. They are first time young buyers. So maybe I am going to work harder on this deal because I need to educate them more. But when we close I am going to feel good because I helped them. I walked them through a process that will hopefully start them on a path of building wealth. It is part of my job satisfaction. So I agree 100 percent with you post . However at the end of your post you say, "Helping people just happens." That is true. But that aspect of our work should not be minimized and is part of the job satisfaction quotient, just like doing a good professional job for our clients

Jun 01, 2010 05:23 PM #151
Ambassador
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Charlie.  I don't minimize the "helping" aspect at all.  However, if that is the motivation, an agent won't develop the technical, agency, etc. skills to be able to help.

Eric.  Lovely.  I could have written that myself.

Jim.  Hear, hear.  Sometimes what you have to do to "help" folks looks like something else. 

Larry.  BINGO!

Lisa. Indeed.  Further, the "help" motivated may not be willing to practice with the discipline to really help.

Kristin.  Folks who want more time for family are not going to be reliable agents for their broker or clients.

Ron.   Thank YOU.

Aloha.  HA!  Aren't you glad you found out early on??

Nicole.  I hope so too.

Christopher.  Keep working at it. 

Cathy.  My pleasure.

Jun 01, 2010 06:51 PM #152
Rainmaker
1,286,270
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

It is hell.  I like it but not sure I would do it again.  I guess I would, but I would do it differently than I did.

Jun 01, 2010 08:32 PM #153
Rainmaker
351,538
Damon Gettier
Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert - Roanoke, VA
Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE

Lenn, I agree completely!  The only statement worse than that in my opinion is, "I like to look at houses."

Jun 02, 2010 04:58 PM #154
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Gene.  It's tough right now, but I'd do it again. 

Damon.  HA!  That sounds familiar.  Actually, I DO like to look at houses, do it all the time.  I want to know the inventory AND watch trends.

Jun 02, 2010 06:51 PM #155
Rainmaker
131,925
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL
www.professionalinvestorsguild.com

Excellent post as always Lenn.  I couldn't agree more.  We all love to help people, but I don't think it should be your PRIMARY reason for getting into business, or you won't be around long enough to help very many people.

Mar 29, 2011 01:42 PM #156
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Matt.  Goodness, you went back for that one. 

I want serious, knowledgeable agents, not do-gooders who put emotion before good real estate practices.

I seriously believe that the folks who are in this business to "do good" should get a job and do their good works by volunteering.

Mar 30, 2011 07:28 AM #157
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